Gamkaskloof ("The Hell") Photos and Information

Entrance to Gamkaskloof
The road into Gamkaskloof
Gamkaskloof road
Gamkaskloof Swartberg Mountains
Gamkaskloof Pass
Gamkaskloof Camping Site
Camping in Gamkaskloof
Gamkaskloof Camp Ablutions
Gamkaskloof Valley
Gamkaskloof Restored Cottage
Restored Cottage in  Gamkaskloof
Gamkaskloof School House
Gamkaskloof Pass
View of Pass in Gamkaskloof
Gamkaskloof pass view from halfway up
Gamkaskloof pass twists in road
View from top of Gamkaskloof Pass
GamkaskloofPaa view from near the top of the pass
Gamkaskloof Pass view from the top of the pass
Gamkaskloof gravel road
Swaertberg Montain Nature reserve Gamkaskloof
Swartberg Mountains Gamkaskloof

The Gamkaskloof is a wilderness destination that will truly delight the hearts of people enjoying wild and lonely places. It is situated in a secluded valley in the heart of the Swartberg Mountains, Karoo, South Africa and can only be reached by road.

You first need to cross the Swartberg Mountain Pass either from Oudtshoorn or from Prince Albert. At the top of the pass you will find the turn off that descends into The Hell or "Die Hel" as it is also known as locally in Afrikaans.

It is possible to make this a day trip. Just make sure that you allow yourself ample time for the journey. It takes 2 hours to complete the trip of 50 kilometer from the turn off at the top of the Swartberg Pass to the bottom and another two hours back.

The gravel road itself is in good condition and an ordinary sedan will make it. At the bottom of the valley it may be a different story. We were there just after the river flooded and all the drifts and much of the road were washed away so a vehicle with high ground clearance was essential. So, be sure to check the condition of the road before tackling the trip.

Personally, I think if you are going make the effort to visit this beautiful, wild valley, you should at least stay a couple of nights to really enjoy this remote destination. Accommodation is available in the form of camping as well as self catering chalets.

What is there to do in Gamkaskloof?

  • Hiking ranging from one to three days.
  • Bird Watching with over 130 species which includes raptors such as Fish Eagles, Black Eagles and Martial Eagles.
  • Mountain Biking. Please check when booking as special permission is required to cycle in the Swartberg nature Reserve
  • 4X4 route with spectacular vistas. Booking required for either overnight or a day trip.
  • Fishing in the Gamkapoort dam and Gamka river. Please note that you must have a valid freshwater fishing  licence.
  • Picnicking.
  • Do not forget your camera, binoculars and bird guide books!

Where to stay?

To me the first choice of accommodation is the camping site down in the valley but if you prefer something more comfortable you can always stay in one of the historic restored cottages. You can book a camping  site or cottage through Cape nature.

If you would like to search for alternative accommodation  in the area I can also recommend  that you do so through Safarinow . They  have a huge  selection of South African Safari lodges on their books and their service is excellent.


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